General Information

The Virginia Natural History Society (VNHS) was formed in 1992 to bring together persons interested in the natural history of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VNHS defines natural history in a broad sense, from the study of plants, animals, and other organisms to the geology and ecology of the state, to the natural history of the native people who inhabit it. The goals of the VNHS are to promote research on the natural history of Virginia, educate the citizens of the Commonwealth on natural history topics, and to encourage the conservation of natural resources.

Dissemination of natural history information occurs through publication of the journal Banisteria, named for John Banister (1650-1692) who was the first universitytrained naturalist to work in Virginia. The first issue was published in 1992, and the journal is published twice per year in spring and fall. Articles cover a wide array of subjects, and prospective authors are encouraged to submit manuscripts on any aspect of natural history in Virginia; papers may pertain to Virginia or regional archaeology, anthropology, botany, ecology, zoology, paleontology, geology, geography, or climatology. Book reviews, biographies, obituaries, and historical accounts of relevance to natural history in Virginia also are welcomed. Manuscripts are peerreviewed for suitability and edited for inclusion in the journal.

Page charges ($20/page) are waived if the sole or first author is a VNHS member. All authors must pay $75/page if they desire color printing of figures. The society's website contains detailed instructions for authors and the titles, abstracts or full PDF versions of articles from past Banisteria issues.


The VNHS is open to anyone with an interest in natural history and welcomes participation by all members in society activities and efforts to promote education and conservation. Membership includes a subscription to Banisteria and invitations to periodic symposia and field events. Annual dues for members are $20 (per calendar year); library subscriptions are $40 per year. Checks should be sent to the Secretary/Treasurer, who also has most back issues of Banisteria available for sale. The VNHS is a tax-exempt, nonprofit, society under Section 501(C)3 of the IRS. We welcome donations to support our mission in Virginia. - Membership Form

Student Membership Incentive

Recognizing that students interested in natural history represent the main pool of prospective future members of the Virginia Natural History Society, the Executive Committee of the Society is soliciting nominations from our members for a free one-year membership in the Society to selected college, university, and high school students. We believe that receiving this membership will make more students aware of the Society and appreciate the benefits of continued membership. The Society will fund up to twenty students in 2016. Nominees should be undergraduate or graduate students at a college or university in Virginia, or outstanding high school students, who are particularly interested in natural history. Nominators should be members of the Society and provide the following information for up to three students: Name, institution, mailing address, e-mail address, and a short paragraph describing the students' interests in and activities related to Virginia natural history. Nominations should be sent to the Secretary-Treasurer, Rachel Goodman at

Virginia Natural History Society, Box 74, Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943
Copyright © 1992 - 2016 Virginia Natural History Society. All rights reserved.